I did post this on the Fan Fiction section but obviously it's better suited here.
This fic is Pearlshipping, so if you don't like it, don't read.
Also feel free to point out any mistakes I make. Sometimes I get lazy, hehe.
Night fell upon Sinnoh, covering the trees and fields with darkness and a sense of wariness. The only light came from the glowing moon and hundreds of stars- too many to count. Everything that has been bustling fell quiet and still, leaving the night silent. The nocturnal pokemon crawled from their nests and began looking around for food and stretching themselves; overall it was a beautiful sight.
This was why Dawn Berlitz of Twinleaf Town sat, holding her sleeping partner, and watched the sun go down. She held Piplup tightly as she tried to count the stars in the sky, but getting sick eventually. Her mind had been clouded over for quite a few weeks, and she didn't know why. It had all started when she had said goodbye to Ash and Brock. She started to feel longing and sadness.
You need to choose where to go next, Dawn, She told herself. She often felt her heart drop to her stomach thinking of how she could of asked Ash where he was going to, so she could go after him. She hadn't bothered. Why didn't she?
You need to go somewhere new and exciting, to take your mind of Ash, but she wasn't thinking about where to go next, really. She was wondering still why Ash was always on her mind.
She shuffled back, careful not to wake Piplup, and rested against a nearby tree. She would have to be home soon, or her mother would worry, but she told herself to enjoy the last moments of the Sinnoh sun. Tomorrow, she would decide where to go and leave.
“Piplup?” Dawn looked down, to see her partner had woke and was shooting her a puzzled look.
“Oh, sorry if I woke you Piplup, I was just trying to get comfortable.” She apologized and smiled weakly at her closest friend. Piplup looked unconvinced.
“Pip, pip Piplup?” (Dawn, are you okay?) He asked her, wrapping his small arms around her waist a little, showing her that he was still there for her.
“Yeah, I'm okay. No need to worry. I was just trying to decide where to go next. There are so many places, I'm not sure which one I want to visit first!” She said, suddenly excited. “But for now you should go back to sleep.”
Piplup nodded appreciatively and curled back up in her lap to sleep once more. Dawn looked back up at the sky, and was disappointed to see that the sun had completely vanished whilst she was talking to Piplup.
She sighed and slowly picked up Piplup to carry him to their house not far away.
“Good morning, Dawn.” Her mother greeted as she stepped lazily into the kitchen. She sat herself down on a chair and waited patiently for her breakfast. Even though she was sixteen, she still let her mother make breakfast for her.
“Good morning, mom.” She answered eventually, yawning and rubbing her eyes sleepily.
“Have you decided where you want to go yet? You're supposed to be leaving today!” Johanna said, still smiling cheerfully. She slid a plate of toast across the bench to Dawn, who took it gratefully.
“Actually, I have.” She answered with a mouthful of toast. “A totally new area that I've heard almost nothing about.”
“And where might that be?” Her mother glanced at her warily, worrying about her daughters decision.
“I'm going to Unova.” Dawn said proudly. She would go there and try not to think too much about Ash and Brock. She would meet new friends or maybe even travel alone. She would win the grand festival there.
“Unova? That's so far away though, Dawn.” Her mom raised an eyebrow and took Dawn's already empty plate away from her. “Are you sure?”
“Mom, I'm sixteen. And it's not that far away.” She said persuasively. “Also, it looks so interesting there. I can't wait to see all those new pokemon.” Her eyes grew as she thought of all the new pokemon she would be able to catch there, and all the new places she would see. It made her eager to leave.
“You've got that look again.” Her mom chuckled. “Your bag is packed. You need to head to Canalave City if you want to catch a ferry to Unova.”
“Right.” Dawn jumped up and ran to where her bag lay waiting. She checked once more if she'd packed everything. She was going to take all of her pokemon with her to the new region. They all wanted to see it, and it would be unfair to leave them behind.
“Good luck in Unova, Dawn. Don't forget to call me.” Johanna mumbled, clearly upset that her daughter was leaving her again. Dawn just smiled up at her and pulled her in for a hug.
“Thanks mom, I will. See ya!” She burst out of the door into the warm summer air. The sun beat down on her, but the light breeze blew her hair and made it bearable. She grabbed the bicycle she'd bought the week before and hopped up onto the sight. She felt comfortable on it, and riding it felt smooth.
She waved back at her mom once more before lifting her feet and pedalling down towards Sandgem Town with great speed. She would reach it easily, since it was so close. It wouldn't even take her two hours.
Paul sat alone by the fire. The flames burned dangerously close to his knees which he'd brought up to his chest, but he didn't care; it was a cold night. Even Torterra, a grass pokemon, lay as close to the fire as he dared.
Paul's mind was full of thoughts and questions- so many that he almost screamed in annoyance. He wouldn't have been so bothered, if the thoughts had been sane.
Instead, he was thinking about Ash.
As much as he hated to admit it, he missed Ash. He hated knowing that Ash was miles away and they would probably never see each other again. It crushed him to think how he wouldn't see his face again, because he'd been too proud to ask him where he was going next. Of course Paul hadn't hated Ash as much as he'd pretended to. He just found it easier to make fun of him than to deny it.
Paul rocked back and forward and pulled at his hair, telling himself to stop thinking about it. He needed sleep before he caught the ferry the next day. It would only take him a few hours to reach the port, then he could catch the ferry which he would be on for almost a day.
There was one thing Paul had heard just before they'd parted for the last time. He had heard Ash say something about going to Kanto. However he knew it would be a wild goose chase just following him there. Ash would probably think he was a stalker too.
The last time they'd met, at the Sinnoh League, they'd become friends in a way. They'd said they would battle again though Paul knew that would never happen. And Paul had smiled in a friendly way for the first time in a while, hinting to Ash that he had secretly liked him. Of course Ash didn't pick up on that, because he was so dense- even at sixteen years old.
Paul shook all the thoughts from his mind and lay down to sleep. He needed all the rest he could get for tomorrow.
You're going to Unova! Dawn repeated in her head, trying to get herself excited about it. She was slightly excited, but not as much as she could have been.
She pedalled slightly faster, pressing onwards. She had long since passed Sandgem Town; not even stopping to say hello to professor Rowan. She had zoomed down Route 202 to Jubilife City, and had only just finished passing through.
It was getting dark again, and Dawn knew she'd soon have to settle down for the night. She could make it to Canalave City in a couple of hours but riding in the dark was too dangerous. She only had a few minutes until the darkness completely took over.
“Okay, Piplup.” She brought her bike to a stop in the middle of the dirt path and stepped gracefully from the seat. Piplup hopped out of his own little personal basket at the front of her bike and managed to land in Dawn's arms. Dawn smiled down at Piplup once before setting him down on the ground so she could push her bike to where they would stay.
She found the perfect spot by the trees and a small lake that would provide water for her pokemon. One by one, she called them all out.
“Togekiss, Mamoswine, Pachirisu, Quilava, Buneary!” She called, throwing the five pokeballs into the air. The pokemon exploded into her view, all greeting her with grins. They all loved sleeping outside rather than in their pokballs.
She managed to build a small fire in the grass, not too far from the lake. She kept throwing sticks onto it until it was pretty high. Tonight, she would sleep outside rather than in her tent. She wanted to be able to look at the stars and think.
“Piplup.” Her partner greeted her again as it jumped into her lap. Dawn pulled a jacket that she'd just bought from her bag and wrapped it around her shoulders, to stop herself from shivering so much.
It didn't take her pokemon long to fall asleep. Mamoswine lay by the trees, while Quilava stayed just centimetres from the fire, enjoying its warmth. Pachirisu was curled up next to Buneary a few feet from the fire, while Togekiss perched herself on a branch that stuck out more than any of the others.
“Try to keep up with me.” Paul muttered to Froslass, who had begged to stay outside her pokeball for the rest of the journey. Paul eventually gave in, since he was in a pretty good mood. He was going to a completely different region. Though it would have been better if Ash was there too...
He hated himself for thinking that.
“Get over it.” He told himself aloud, confusing Froslass. She looked over at him, asking him what he meant with her eyes.
“It doesn't matter.” He mumbled, keeping his head low. He was slightly embarrassed about liking Ash. The real question was; How much did he like Ash?
“Froslass!” His pokemon cried happily, flying around Paul in circles. He was about to ask her why she was being so ridiculous when he spotted Canalave city just down below him, not even a mile away. It lifted his spirits to see the bustling city, where he could leave the Sinnoh region.
He stuffed his hands into his pockets and smiled down at the floor before starting towards the city, ready to leave.
His feet lead him to the entrance of the city, and he walked in slowly. He still allowed Froslass to float by his side. People stared at her in awe and young children tried to reach for her. She just smiled and chirped at them all. That was the kind of pokemon she was.
“What do you say, Froslass,” Paul started as they neared the ports, “Want to stop at the pokemon centre for a while or not? Or we could go looking around the city? The ferry doesn't leave for another two hours.”
Froslass was startled by Paul's sudden kindness, but shook her head at the pokemon centre. She didn't feel a need to go there right now, and she really wanted to see some more of the city or battle some strong trainers.
“Okay then, let's look around.” He looked at her, and she thought for a moment that he was going to smile. That was too good to be true, and he just looked at the ground again and continued walking.
“I think we'll go check out that nearby lake.”
Dawn had woken late that morning, feeling groggy. She rubbed her eyes sleepily and forced herself up. She looked around at her pokemon, that were all awake and playing.
“Time to go back.” She said politely and returned them one by one. Except Piplup, of course.
Dawn looked at the lake for a moment, and then around at the thick surrounding forest. She wondered if anyone else came out here at all. She'd seen no-one on the road, and no-one had bothered her by the lake yet. It was so tempting and warm outside, that she let herself give in.
She slipped out of her black dress and untied her scarf carefully. She didn't care about Piplup seeing any more, and Piplup was too busy swimming around to care anyway.
She slowly stepped into the cold lake. It was refreshing to be able to swim by yourself like that, and she could even wash her hair. After a while, she stopped worrying about people coming along and just waded around in the cool waters.
Except someone was coming, and they were very close to the edge of the forest.
“Froslass, return.” Paul called back Froslass, wanting to get through the forest quietly so he didn't wake any forest pokemon.
The forest wasn't very large, and it only took him five minutes to walk from one side of it to the other.
As Paul reached the end of a forest, he noticed a small fire between the trees, just at the edge. He peered at it for a moment and realized it was recent, which meant someone was nearby. He decided to ignore it, since he probably wouldn't see them.
So he stepped out onto the banks of the lake, and looked around, until his eyes landed on something blue floating on the lake nearby. He narrowed his eyes, but he couldn't make out what it was...
Suddenly, it burst out of the water upwards, and the hair flung back, sending water flying right his way. Paul froze when he realized what it was- a girl. He should of walked away, but like most teenage boys would, he stood and watched instead.
She swum around a little bit, but never looked back at him, so he couldn't see her face. Then she decided she'd had enough of swimming, and turned suddenly, catching Paul off guard.
His face twisted and he jumped back a little, expecting her to scream. Instead he heard nothing, and opened his eyes to look.
Now he didn't just see any random girl. He saw Dawn. She looked just as shocked as him, staring at him with huge, glassy eyes.
Then she did start to scream. The sound was so high pitched, Paul had to cover his ears. He turned away and covered his eyes, his cheeks turning red with embarrassment. He heard her scurry out of the water and grab her dress. She pulled it on quickly, fumbling for her bag.
When Paul finally dared to look back around, she was fully dressed. Her hair was already drying, and she had called her Quilava out to help it. She still looked as shocked as she did when she discovered him there.
“How long did you watch me for?” She asked him without turning to face him. She didn't sound particularly angry or upset, just shocked.
“A few minutes.” Paul admitted quietly, expecting her to shout at him, instead she stayed sitting there, letting Quilava dry her hair and tying her scarf around her neck.
“What are you doing here?” She asked him another question. This time, however, she asked him as she pulled her beanie hat over her head and turned to face him, looking calmer.
“Uh...” He stared for a moment, before pulling himself together. “I'm catching a ferry at Canalave City. Sorry for, um-”
“It's okay. I'm catching a ferry too. Where are you going to?” She straightened her hair up and looked as if nothing had happened.
“Unova, what about you?” He found himself being quite polite to her. Maybe it was because he still felt bad about watching her.
“Oh!” She exclaimed, and she was suddenly smiling. “Me too! Want to come with me?” She asked straightforwardly, startling him.
“You mean, travel with you?” He asked to make sure he had the right idea. He had no idea what he would say if she confirmed it. He wanted company, and maybe she would help him forget about Ash. She was very pretty...
“Yeah, why not? I was kind of worried about being lonely or lost. What do you say?” She asked giving him the most innocent smiled, trying to persuade him.
“Well, er, I suppose we could.” He answered without thinking. He couldn't believe it. How the hell did he end up travelling with Dawn Berlitz? He didn't even like her!
“Wow! Okay, well we better catch that ferry then!” Dawn said, walking up to his side and falling into step beside him. “This might actually be fun.”
Yeah, I suppose it might be.
They didn't talk much on the way back to the city- just walked side by side towards the port. Eventually they reached the giant port, and had to ask a local which ferry they were supposed to catch. Before either of them knew it, they were looking over the railings of their ferry at the disappearing shore of Sinnoh.
“So, why did you choose Unova?” Paul asked her, not really sounding interested. He just didn't want her to feel awkward.
“Can I be completely honest with you now, Paul?” She turned to ask him. She looked completely serious; it was almost scary.
“Well,” She started, turning to look back at Sinnoh. “I want to go somewhere completely new and far away to help me forget about Ash.”
Paul's heart stopped for a moment, and he turned to her surprisingly quickly. “Why? Did you fall out with him?”
“No, no. Of course not. I just miss him a lot. For some reason I can't stop thinking about him.”
Oh, great. She probably loves him and she doesn't realize it.
“So, um, do you know where he went?” Paul asked, sounding a little demanding. He wanted desperately to know where Ash was, even if he couldn't go there himself.
“No. I forgot to ask him, or I'd be with him now.” She said sadly, still gazing out at sea, even though Sinnoh was just about gone. “But I'm going to forget about it anyway. C'mon, let's go find our room.”
She dragged Paul by the arm down countless corridors towards their cabin. The ferry would take all night to get to Unova, so they would have to sleep there. Paul and Dawn would share a room for the first time ever.
She pushed open the door, revealing their rather small but cosy cabin. At the far end, sat a bunk bed. Dawn quickly ran over and threw her bag onto the top, making sure she got it. She was sixteen, but she still would have fought over the top bunk.
“Why don't you just call him, Dawn?” Paul asked randomly as she started to climb the ladders. She stopped halfway up and turned to face him.
“I don't know,” She answered quietly, “Do you think I should?”
“Why not?” Paul shrugged, acting as if he didn't care. Really, he wanted her to call him so he could listen to them and find out where Ash was. This made him feel a little stalker like, but he ignored that. He missed Ash too much.
“I suppose I could. I forgot about calling him completely...” She said, climbing back down the ladders. “I'll use the phone here in the room. Do you mind leaving?” She asked politely. Paul shook his head and left the room silently. He went to close the door but left it slightly open; just enough so he could hear them.
Dawn seemed to hesitate before pressing the last number, like she was having second thoughts.
“Hello?” He heard quietly after a while, and quickly recognized the voice. Ash had answered pretty quickly.
“Hey, Ash.” Dawn said, sounding nervous. Why was she nervous?
“Dawn?” Ash asked, and Paul could hear the excitement in his voice.
Dawn suddenly perked up, and looked ready to have a conversation, when suddenly she stopped. In the background, you could faintly hear a girl speaking.
“Dawn, are you there?”
Dawn slowly put the phone back down, ignoring Ash.
What is she doing?
She sat in the corner of the room and brought her knees to her chest. She looked as if she would cry, but instead she just sat there, staring at the floor. It killed Paul to watch her to, so he just walked back in without warning.
“What's the matter, Dawn?” He asked, not too nicely, to maintain his arrogant attitude.
“I don't know, that's the problem!” She snapped at him. “Every time I've tried to call him that happens! I get these weird feelings, and I hear that girl talking...”
“You think he's replaced you?” Paul guessed, allowing himself to stand over her. “Ash is dense, he won't fall in love with her.”
“Fall in love with her? Why would I even... I never think about love, why would I care?”
Paul scoffed and lay back on his bed, turning away from her.
“Paul? Hey!” She hit him lightly on the arm, but he ignored her. Eventually she gave up and climbed up onto her own bed. He heard her sniff a little, but knew she wasn't still crying. She was pretty tough. It wouldn't upset her for long, though it would come back if she kept thinking about it.
In the top bunk, Dawn turned over for the hundredth time. She was thinking of what Paul had said about Ash falling in love with that new girl. Dawn could never imagine Ash falling in love with anyone at all, because he was so dense. But even if he did fall for her, would she care? Why did she feel like she would?
In the bottom bunk, Paul was trying to block out the creaking caused by Dawn turning over again. He was trying to accept the fact that he was travelling with someone he had hated so bad just a year ago. For some reason now, he didn't mind her. Maybe it was because he didn't have to act tough for Ash.
Slowly sleep crept up on both of them, and neither could stop it. Just an hour later they were both dreaming of the same thing. The thing that they both wanted, but didn't quite realize yet.